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Student Perspectives
The Student Perspectives blog is a fresh and realistic snapshot of the life of veterinary medical and biomedical science students.
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Journey's End

Journey's End As the semester continues on, I can’t help but realize my journey here as an undergraduate at Texas A&M University is almost over! The most bittersweet sensations arise when I think about the day I will finally walk across the stage and further prove to myself that nothing is impossible. It feels like it was just yesterday when I drove into College Station for the first time with my parents, and now I will be leaving soon as an alumna. Crazy. In fact, a few of my younger friends were discussing their New Student Conferences the other day. In the midst of their conversation, I looked to one of my other friends, who is also a senior, and gave her a look of utter disbelief. We were once also freshmen, unsure of what form our paths during our undergraduate careers would take. We too once stressed about learning all the Aggie lingo and traditions that have now become second nature to us. We too once lamented over the complete despair we f... (Read More)

Preparing for 4th Year, All Year Long

Preparing for 4th Year, All Year Long I am currently in my third year of veterinary school. This year will help me prepare for next year. We take small animal and large animal medicine this semester, which requires us to pull information learned during the first two years of school in various classes to help us succeed in these two. We also take radiology, which will help us in fourth year when we read radiographs in the clinic. One of the exciting classes we take is clinics. We spend four Wednesdays each semester in the large or small animal clinic. This allows us to learn the layout of the hospitals and see how it is to be a fourth year student. Each week we follow around clinicians and fourth years to get our feet wet and ask questions. This semester I am in oncology, canine internal medicine, anesthesia, and cardiology clinical rotations. We now feel a little more comfortable about being in the hospital next year and (hopefully!) becoming a veterinarian in less than 19 months. ... (Read More)

A day in the life of a first year vet student

A day in the life of a first year vet student As a pre-vet student, I often wondered what life would be like in vet school. Although every day is a little different, here is a look at one recent day as a first year veterinary student. 7:00 a.m. I wake up, get dressed, and feed my guinea pig. I intended to wake up earlier, but I still have time to grab my lunch and scarf down a bowl of cereal before leaving my apartment. 7:25 a.m. I am at the bus stop. Texas A&M has busses that run on and off campus, paid for by student fees. I take one bus to main campus and then take a second bus to the vet school. 8:00 a.m. We have a histology lecture about what the inside of the mouth looks like microscopically in different species. For example, cows have hard projections, called buccal papillae, on the inside of their mouths for breaking down food. 9:00 a.m. Normally on Tuesdays, we would have physiology lecture from 9-10 am, but since our lectures on cardiac physiology ran ahead of schedu... (Read More)

Enjoy Life

Enjoy Life As Halloween approaches, I can't help but be excited. Even if this holiday does not include an actual vacation away from school, one can still really enjoy the celebration. For example, I plan to go to two parties in costume to spend a little time just having fun. I firmly believe that everyone should greet each and every day with some sort of enthusiasm. Whether you are already starting to study for the test in the future, are giving yourself a little break between tests, or just scooping yourself a helping of ice cream after a long day, we can't forget to enjoy ourselves every once in a while. Too much stress can burn us out and make scholarly performance completely impossible. Don't forget to do those little things that make you happy in life: playing with animals, reading a good novel, or taking a walk with your favorite soundtrack. School is important, but so is your mental health. The best way to avoid stress is planning ahead. A good stu... (Read More)

Smooth SAILing

Smooth SAILing The phrase “starting with a bang” finally made sense to me this year when I became a member of SAIL (Sophomores Advancing in Leadership). SAIL is a student led organization whose primary focus is centered on building leadership skills. My first encounter with SAIL was during open house, and from that moment, I knew that I wanted to become a part of this organization. From the moment of its introduction at open house, I knew that I could see myself as a member. However, I still could not help being skeptical. My skepticism soon dissolved when I got my first taste of what SAIL was like. Erin and Chelsea—the directors of SAIL—were monumental in taking away my doubts by making me feel welcome and enthusiastically telling me about SAIL. They were filled such passion for the organization that I was immediately engulfed in the excitement that is SAIL. I left the open house with SAIL on my mind and looking forward to the informational session. The day ... (Read More)

Looking Forward to Fourth Year

Looking Forward to Fourth Year This past week, my third year class had a meeting about scheduling the fourth and final year of the veterinary curriculum: clinics! The first three years of the DVM program take place in classrooms and labs, preparing us for the challenges of seeing actual live clinical patients as fourth-year students working in our teaching hospitals. I have been looking forward to my fourth year since first-year orientation, but it wasn't until this meeting that I realized that it won't be much longer until I'm actually in clinics! My classmates and I have some big decisions to make in the next couple weeks as we move forward in planning the remainder of our time here in veterinary school. To begin, we need to choose a career track, either "Large Animal," "Small Animal," "Mixed Animal," or "Alternative Career." The career track a student chooses determines his or her required course list and rotation options. A "rotation" is a two-week span of time that... (Read More)

A Happy Birthday

A Happy Birthday My birthday was on the Wednesday of last week. I just turned 19. Young for a sophomore, right? Anyway, I made it a point to really enjoy myself this time around because my last birthday—well, it was just all right when it came to the festivities. That night, I celebrated the first few hours of my birthday cooped up at the library annex studying for some chemistry exam. Once the exam was over, all I wanted to do was go home and sleep. All my friends—who had exams that same day—weren’t exactly in party mode either. Any plans to actually have fun that day were trumped by my overbearing fatigue. In other words, that day was not the epitome of an 18th birthday celebration. I was so focused on doing something for the “big 18” that when I didn’t get a chance to do anything in particular, I deemed it just an okay birthday. However, this year, my perspective has drastically changed. Although this year I spent the first few hours of my birthday studying ... (Read More)

On Not Getting Homesick

On Not Getting Homesick Everyone always asks me if I ever get homesick, but I always joke that my family doesn’t give me a chance to miss them. Because my family is an Aggie family, they always come up to the football games, so I see them every weekend or every other weekend during the fall at least. One of the things I miss the most about home, though, are my pets. Ever since I was little I have always lived with at least four pets, so living in a dorm, it can be hard because we can’t have pets. It helps that my mom and sisters will sometimes send me pictures of our pets, but it still isn’t the same. My family and me Staying busy definitely helps prevent homesickness, and this year has definitely kept me busy.  It is only the sixth week of school, and I already have had a test in every class. I haven’t had time to relax because I am about to take my second tests in my classes. The good and bad thing about this semester is I have a test for at least one class ... (Read More)

Take me back to Italy

Take me back to Italy With my third year of veterinary school in full swing, and the first round of tests under my belt, I’m really missing Europe. This summer, I had the opportunity to take a food safety and public health workshop at the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Padua in Italy. The class included three students from Texas A&M, Dr. Christine Budke (a professor at Texas A&M who teaches public health to first- and second-year veterinary students), a student from St. George’s University in Grenada, and eight Italian students. The first week of the course we had guest lecturers speaking to us about different aspects of food safety and public health in Europe. The second week, we toured different facilities where food is processed. One of the guest lecturers during the first week was Professor Frans J.M. Smulders from the Institute of Meat Hygiene, Meat Technology, and Food Science from the University of Veterinary Medicine in Wien, Aus... (Read More)

Finding Balance

Finding Balance Fall is finally here, and with it comes many wonderful things. The college football season is underway, and the Aggies are dominating. Whoop!! The morning temperatures are starting to drop, hinting at colder weather to come, and the leaves are changing colors and falling from the trees. Meanwhile, vet school classes are in full swing, and things are starting to really get busy. I am in my second year of veterinary school, and although we have a bit more free time, the curriculum has increased in difficulty relative to first year. Last year, our classes laid down the foundation of veterinary medicine as we learned all the ways that the animal body should function under normal conditions. We studied anatomy, physiology, immunology, histology, embryology, behavior, microbiology, neurology, and more. This year, we are required to not only learn a TON of new material, but we are also having to draw upon the things we learned last year to help us und... (Read More)